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#MusicMonday: Pianist & Composer – Juan María Solare

Pianist, composer | classical contemporary and tango argentino

How have you managed to avoid the Starving Artist label?

My formula might not work for others but… the keyword in my case is diversifying. As in the stock market, where you want to diversify to minimize risks, I have several pots boiling at the same time: private lessons, teaching at the University, playing piano recitals and composing (this brings me royalties and commissions, albeit irregularly).

Selling my recordings is not actually an important income; it is getting my investment back. Besides, another extra “pot” is working as a music copyist for music publishing houses (on average, one project every 2-3 years).

What do you wish you had more help with in regards to social media marketing?

Above all, being convinced with proof, with hard numbers, not wishes that it actually works. After a couple of years research in the subject and trying to build up that famous “fan base” online, I got quite skeptical. I found that from all the persons in my concert, none came because they read it on say Facebook. I never sold a CD this way (but I did it via email, for instance).

For some peculiar reason, people who read from a new release on Facebook tend to expect the recording for free. No student came to me via social media. I didn’t get my position at the University based on the number of fans. I am not being negative, I am just wondering why should I (or any other musician) invest resources (time, energy, nerves, money) if I don’t see tangible results.

Solare 2005 por Lea Dietrich 049 bMy current goal is not the fans themselves, but the concert organizers, the potential performers of my music and the radio stations. Contacting them brings me more concrete results than “growing my fan base”. I often do contact them first via Facebook.

Nevertheless, these are small radios or web radios. It helps, but is not the real thing (no offense intended). In other words, I never got an answer from a journalist at the BBC when I wrote them via Facebook (but I did have responses and concrete airplay from smaller web radios). It also works for me to contact organizers via social media. And what works for me at best is contacting performers via social media.

Among my other current goals, indirectly related to “social media marketing”, are services such as:
HARO, that connects me with researchers and journalists (low results but still acceptable, for instance some interviews).
Storyamp, that sends information to music journalists (average results, mainly with CD releases, not with touring).
Songkick, to announce concerts in different platforms (quite low results).

Juan Maria Solare | pianist & composer | picture: Alban Low


#MusicMonday: KEN Mode – Success


KEN Mode is a Noise Rock band from Canada.

Answers from KEN Mode’s front man, Jesse Matthewson:

How have you managed to avoid the Starving Artist label?

The answer to this question is three-fold:
1. By saving money for years working as accountants so we could afford to have zero income if it came to that – we all know the risk of attempting to make money off of art, and it would have been financially irresponsible if we hadn’t prepared for that outcome. Bears build up fat for the winter; it’s been a long winter.

2. The help of various Canadian governments and grant agencies: Canada and specifically our province of Manitoba (Manitoba Film and Music and MB Music) have been very supportive of us during this period of development. Without funding from programs like Factor, MFM and MB music we would have gone broke a few years ago and quit touring to return to our office jobs. That’s the harsh reality of it. Noise rock doesn’t pay the bills, and our rock and roll fantasy camp couldn’t be accomplished without this funding.

3. Very understanding and supportive parents and friends. We crash in spare rooms and beds when we’re not on tour. This is the reality of this lifestyle, and you have to be willing to make sacrifices if you want to make it happen. Some are luckier than others in this department, and I count our blessings when it comes to this and #2 on this list.

This being said, we lead an extremely meager existence and take nothing for granted.

What do you wish you had more help with in regards to social media marketing?

I wish social media platforms hadn’t moved to such a money hungry way of doing business. We have a fraction of our posts seen by our followers because of their constantly changing viewer/follower settings aimed at getting all businesses to pay regardless of whether pages are big or small.

Something is wrong when posts of ours are seen by 1,000 of our 24,000+ followers. The internet is supposed to be a neutral ground, but clearly social media is not.

Otherwise, smart phones have made managing social media marketing pretty easy; you just need to have the time to keep on top of it, otherwise the platforms are useless.




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Branding – How Do YOU Appear on Facebook?

brand-identity-logo-explained1By Terry D Kozlyk

Late to the party, many small and medium size businesses are discovering Facebook as a tool for promoting and branding themselves. In the past few years, the term “branding” has been a hot business topic, created by the media hype around advertising using social media. But I never fully understood the term “branding”, its implications and the practice, until I started actively participating, reading and writing on my Facebook timeline.

My main reason for exposing myself to the world of Facebook, was simply to understand how it works. I wanted to see if there was merit in using Facebook, as over a billion users worldwide were doing. Whether I connected with my classmates from 30+ years ago or not, was furthest from my mind. What I did discover was that not only is Facebook a powerful branding tool for business but how individuals are unwittingly using it to create a personal brand that may come back to haunt them.

There was much that I didn’t know about Facebook. But by “LIKE-ing” a few people I knew, a few more from my club and hometown classmates, I began to build a repertoire of scrolling real-time news. It wasn’t more than a year of regular weekly readings, that the light finally came on for me. Clear as day, I realized how several of my “friends” have casted, stereotyped, say “branded” themselves, and NOT in a good way. I saw a pattern from their postings, that I could have easily used to describe or introduce them, if I was ever asked. I began to label and think of them, specifically by how frequently and what they posted on their timeline. They have managed to “brand” themselves.

I began to detect a consistent pattern with many. Is that how I want to be described or thought of? There was the person that would post just family pics of events with their grand kids. This is commendable, but maybe in a closed family Facebook sub-page; not your general friends list. There was the person who posted pictures that made me wonder, “What am I missing here? Why is this picture being broadcast? It’s just a picture!” All it proved was that they knew how to take a picture and how to post to Facebook. Nice, I thought. They have a heartbeat. There was the friend who spoke of deep inner feelings. Sure; just thinking out loud perhaps, but maybe don’t be posting into words. People will sense you are emotionally unstable and incapable of dealing with everyday life. Then there was the world traveler that would post pictures daily from across the globe. Obviously not current and just drawing from years past vacations. Then there was the person who posts 10 times per day. Well, that person clearly does not have a life and needs constant attention. Some may come across as activists. That’s when I discovered I can UN-follow these while still leaving them in my friends list. And believe me, I did.

branding-marketing-sellingSo before you write on your timeline, and then click POST, ask yourself the following 4 questions.

1) What is the purpose of my post?

Are you hoping to inspire, inform, motivate, instigate or call-to-action someone? Are you sharing an experience with a picture hoping to get some feedback from others? Or are you just blowing off some steam, perhaps getting onto a soapbox and ranting about an incident that happened to you? Are you hoping for support or sympathy? If you are writing in the “heat of the moment” and saturated with emotion such as anger or vindictiveness, then close your laptop and go for a good walk or other physical activity. Yes, writing can very good therapy, so continue writing, but do so in your personal journal, not your Facebook timeline. No one is interested in reading your thoughts repeatedly.

2) Am I comfortable with others repeating my comments attached to my name?

This is more inline with the “gossip session” or water cooler talk, when others may talk about you behind your back. We can’t control gossip about us, so make sure it is gossip you are comfortable having proliferate about you. Hearing your comments in the third person may make the hairs on the back of your neck standup.

3) If this was my last post, would I want to be remembered by it?

Think legacy. What do you want to leave behind for others or society in general? In what light would you like others to talk about you?

4) Is there any value to my post?

Sometimes we get carried away and when others look at our post, they ask themselves, “So what? Why are you telling me this?” This is more along the lines of the “What’s in it for me?” question. If not, then write your post so it will be of value to others.

Today, more than ever, most people reading something are looking for specifics that will bring them value, knowledge or absolute riches. They just don’t want to be an audience, giving their precious time to you, the aspiring author who is going to write the next best seller which will turn into the #1 movie of the year. If not, then your post is simply “noise” and your contacts may not only “un-follow” but also remove you as a friend completely.

brandRemember, when you are posting on Facebook, you are talking to the world. Statements will never be retracted or deleted. Your post may even proliferate and haunt you with someone re-posting on other social media. Even if deleted, people who have already read your post may remember you by that lasting impression you gave them. People can make their minds up about you very quickly and can stereotype you as an activist, anti-whatever and just plain dangerous to have around. Don’t place yourself in the “court of public opinion”. Also, some potential employers hire social media consultants to compile a social media profile of you. Seeing pictures of you volunteering your time with a worthy charity in a developing country is a good thing. But pictures of you getting blasted at the bar on the week-ends, well, not so much.

Facebook is a powerful social media tool. It levels the playing field between a lowly individual and a multi-million dollar company. Done right, you can project as good as the big companies. Use it to showcase your strengths, ambitions and accomplishments. Use it to inspire and summon others to their cause. Use it to stay connected. Use it to develop and advertise “your brand”. I hope my experience with Facebook and tips above will help you “brand” yourself in the best possible light. As a test, you can connect with me on Facebook and practice what I shared above.

Terry is a freelance speaker, writer and the principle content creator and curator (CCC) at

His video, audio and written content is disseminated through his website, Slideshare, iTunes, and Ezine Articles.

Terry, a dynamic speaker who listens to his audience, is personable, energetic and passionate about connecting with people. His presentations can be thought-provoking, motivating, inspiring or just entertaining.

Be sure to read Terry’s other articles at

Article Source:—How-Do-YOU-Appear-on-Facebook?&id=8881934



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#WriterWednesday: Could Your Reputation Hurt Your Book Sales?

bad-reputationWhen a reader purchases one of an author’s books for the first time, he or she may not have a clue what the writer is like.

At that point, it may not even matter. But if the reader decides to read more of the author’s books, it’s probably to learn more about the writer.

Uncovering a bad reputation online can be enough to stop consumers dead in their tracks and prevent them from buying an author’s books.

Additionally, a well-known negative reputation can also keep readers from buying a particular author’s books. Clearly, this has an impact on book sales and can hurt the amount of royalties a writer can earn.

Those who believe that their online reputation isn’t important are deceiving themselves. Left unattended, a negative reputation can hurt book sales.

A questionable reputation can make buyers suspicious and lead to loss of book sales.

Situations that Can Negatively Impact Reputation

  • Responding Negatively to Reader Comments or Reviews.Writers put their hearts and souls into their work, so it’s no wonder they react emotionally when someone comments negatively on a book. Letting emotions take the lead and leaving a nasty comment in response puts the writer at risk for reputation damage. It may feel good to blow off some steam, but an unpleasant and unprofessional response can come back to bite the writer.Unfortunately, with the internet, deleting negative comments may not be enough to save face, as other users can spread the word faster than the author can delete.
  • Unsavory Postings on Social Media Venues.Drunken pictures and off-the-cuff posts might seem funny at the time, but they can really do a number on an author’s reputation. Readers tend to put favorite authors on a pedestal, and it’s important to maintain a professional image at all times. Keep occasional partying private.
  • Someone’s Spreading Rumors.Reputation damage isn’t always the writer’s fault. An ex or just someone looking to cause trouble can easily spread lies across the internet, causing damage to a writer’s reputation. If people are willing to believe what the other person is saying, the rumors can spread fast and impact a writer’s book sales.

Ways to Recover from a Damaged Reputation

  • Reach Out to Offended People.If people have been offended by an author’s behavior, words, or actions, the best response is to reach out in a positive and professional manner. This can be done with a blog post, a post on Facebook or Twitter, or through the author’s email list.
  • Negate the Bad with Good.Time does heal all wounds. Eventually the negativity and upset will dissipate. To facilitate this, an author should work toward rebuilding their reputation with positive posts and actions. Sincerity is important because readers will see right through actions that are taken purely for the sake of saving face.
  • Do Some Online Housecleaning.

    Clean up all social media venues by removing inappropriate or unsavory images, deleting harmful posts, or closing certain accounts altogether. Unfortunately, there’s not much that can be done about what others have posted about the author, but continued reputation rebuilding will counteract that over time.

A professional reputation can positively impact book sales.

Allow Time to Recover

Although a reputation can be damaged in an instant, it can take time to fully recover. Negative experiences shouldn’t keep writers from writing or publishing their works. But at the same time, they must spend time each day on rebuilding their reputation.

Regular communication with readers and reviewers will help as trust is slowly regained. After a while, book sales will start to pick up again as consumers reach the point where they believe the writer’s reputation is acceptable and warrants being given another chance. When this point is reached, it’s imperative to continue maintaining a positive online reputation because people aren’t likely to give a writer yet another chance for the same transgression.

Author Bio:

Mary Ylisela is a freelance writer who writes on a variety of topics and coaches other freelance writers on best practices for small business success.

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Women's History Month Spotlight: Kim Randall – Social Media & Marketing Pro

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Name and Occupation:
Kim Randall, Entrepreneur, Social Media and Marketing Professional

What do you love about being a woman?
I love that there is so much untapped opportunity for females in the business world.

What do you hate about being a woman?
I hate that even today we are judged first on looks and last on personality and drive to achieve and succeed.

Who influences you?
My competitors, family, other female entrepreneurs hiking up the same hill as I am.

Something about you that would surprise people?
I hate wearing heels, would rather throw on a pair of flip flops and jeans for my next business meeting

Anything else you`d like to add?
I am an entrepreneur that owns a Social Media Strategy and Management company as well as an online dating website recently launched at DEM Fall 2012 in Silicon Valley. I am a co-organizer of Tampa’s Startup Weekend, Social Media Day, Have spoken at Tampa’s TEDx and sit on the board of advisers for a local University.

  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Sara-Jane Brocklehurst – Diversity Consultant (
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Ashley Bonds – Founder & Owner of DeVawn Accessories (
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Davina Rhine – Rebel Mom (
  • Top Woman Entrepreneurs to Follow on Twitter (

#ArtsyTuesday: 5 of The Best Ways To Get Your Art Noticed


If your creative juices have led to a masterpiece or two, you’ll be looking for great ways to market your artwork .Target a wider audience with these 5 tips.

E-commerce Sites

Nowadays, you need to have a presence on the web to market your creations effectively and showcase your work to as many people as possible from around the globe. There are now sites dedicated to selling handmade crafts, like Etsy and Society6.

On Etsy you’ll find an entire section for art in all its various forms: collage and mixed media, drawing and illustration, prints and posters, paintings, photography and more. The website is very user-friendly and visually pleasing to the eye, which always helps when you’re trying to get your art noticed.

Society6 is all about artwork and selling designs, sketches and paintings on a variety of mediums. People will be able to see (and buy!) your art on iPhone cases, T-shirts, canvases, pillows and prints.

Twitter and Facebook

Social media has revolutionized the way we communicate. Promoting your work through sites like Twitter and Facebook will definitely improve your chances of getting your artwork seen and sold.

Follow galleries, exhibitions and artists on Twitter and start building up a following. You can add an image of one of your eye-catching pieces of art as your banner. Networking is an ideal way of researching new places, ideas and sites for showcasing your work.

Create a local business page on Facebook and post high-definition images of your artwork with captions of what inspired the creation and how much it costs. Make sure you share the page on your profile and ask your friends to help get it noticed through likes and shares.

Tumblr and Pinterest

Blogs like Tumblr and platforms like Pinterest allow you to post and share images. People can re-blog and pin your artwork on their own pages. You’ll see images of your work spread like wildfire.

Try to get in touch with other artists and look at their pages to discover different styles of promotion. As these sites are highly visual (with little text), your art will be able to speak for itself. Just make sure the work is tagged as your own.


Art magazines and online publications are a great way of promoting your work for free. They tend to have a wide readership and promote local artists. Look for magazines like PAPER who are entirely dedicated to showcasing the work of artists and designers. PAPER even has a shop in the city center of Bristol where artists can sell their work.


With the huge marketing potential provided by the internet it’s easy to forget to try local galleries and exhibitions. Search for them online and look out for niche artsy areas in your city or town. This way, people can actually see your art first hand, and they might make a purchase straight away.

People know people; so always try to personally network. If there is a social gathering, or a gallery exhibition, be there and make yourself known. This is how to sell art through real-life social networking.

The most important thing to remember is to get your artwork on e-commerce sites and then add links to your work from all the social networking sites mentioned above.

How do you get your art noticed?

Stephanie Croft is a freelance writer interested in artwork, interior design and social media. She writes for Art Gallery.